Experience a console-quality fantasy MMORPG with AIIA: Dragon Ark

Experience a console-quality fantasy MMORPG with AIIA: Dragon Ark

May 2, 2018

Wizards and warriors aren’t normally a unique sight when browsing the Google Play store, but the ones you’ll find in AIIA: Dragon Ark take it to the next level thanks to the power of Unreal Engine 4. Providing full 3D visuals comparable to console games, CLGameZ’ fantasy MMORPG combines high action with stunning graphics.

Setting you on the path of the mythical Exlion Knights, as your own created character AIIA: Dragon Ark will see you work your way through various dungeons in seek of threatening boss enemies. Sad bosses each require their own strategy of attack on the player’s part, partially helped by the game’s pet assist system known as ‘Arma’.

When not experiencing the story, AIIA: Dragon Ark provides plenty of means for players to hone their skills to become a better hero. The first is a dedicated PVP battle mode which sees you duke it out with others, while a 100 floor challenge tower is the best way to gain special rewards not available anywhere else.

All of AIIA: Dragon Ark is successfully bright to life using Unreal Engine 4. The hitting effects are responsive, graphics impressively-rendered, all helping to better immerse you while traversing this vast, war-torn world. Have you got the skills and brawn needed to save it?

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Experience a fantasy story unlike any other. AIIA: Dragon Ark is free to download on Android devices today.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

Retro Gaming on a Modern-Day Smartphone? Yes, You Can

Retro Gaming on a Modern-Day Smartphone? Yes, You Can

Apr 19, 2018

There are literally hundreds of thousands of games that run on Android smartphones and tablets – yet there are those of us who still feel like something’s missing. It may be the simplicity of the games we played as children, it may be the lack of flashy visuals and the focus on the feeling and the gaming experience as a whole. This is probably why so many games from the past have been revived and given life anew through emulators – pieces of software that allow programs created to run on one device (consoles and retro computers, in our case) to run on another one (a modern-day PC or a smartphone). And with them, you can turn your Android phone into a retro console. Here’s how.

With the right software

Among the long list of Android mobile gaming app options available for download today, there are quite a few that will emulate retro systems on the go. The list includes emulators for a variety of consoles – NES, PSX, PSP, GameBoy, and many others – and computers like Amiga, ZX Spectrum, and Commodore 64. All you need to do is download them, find the game you like, load it, and play – these usually come with an on-screen controller to make actually playing them possible.

But you can go further, and turn your phone into an actual gaming console.

Connections

The majority of Android smartphones support a standard called MHL (Mobile High-Definition Link) that allows users to connect their handsets to a large screen. When connected, the large screen will mirror the phone’s display, allowing users to watch videos, play music, and even games – it’s nothing as complex as Samsung’s DeX, it’s about simply mirroring the content of the screen on a larger display. And if you run the right emulator, and have the right peripherals – like Satechi’s $40 Bluetooth game controller – you will be able to use it to play games just like you were playing them on a console.

Et voilá!

Of course, you will need to experiment a bit with this before you succeed. After all, there are so many emulators and games out there, each one with its own approach – some of them might not even support peripherals at all. One of the safest ones to start with is RetroArch, a cross-platform multi-system emulator that has been confirmed to work with a series of peripherals – like the Xbox One S Bluetooth controller, the 8Bitdo N30 Pro, and many others.

Smartphones have already gathered a series of functions – they double as media players, compact cameras, wallets – and now we can also check retro gaming consoles off the list.

This article is sponsored as part of Steel Media Preferred Partners.

My App Addiction: Poweramp Music Player

My App Addiction: Poweramp Music Player

Mar 15, 2018

I’m really into streaming content now, especially music; with the right utility (and there are several great choices), you can really cover any need for music you have.

Still, there is a place for standalone, dedicated music players, especially for folks like me. You see, there are some old trusty songs I have, and there are times I prefer dealing with offline and onboard tracks.

I don’t think I am too picky when it comes to choice of app, but there are few things I just to have. Some are a bit vain, yes, but my needs are my needs. When it’s all said and done, after a lot of trial time, I settled on Poweramp Music Player. I really can’t do without it at this point.

Why? We’ve been talking about this app since 2010!

First, as the developer is eager to point out, Poweramp wants to do one thing well: play your music. I like the fact there isn’t too much to wade through… just start the app via the widget and go. Another HUGE feature for me is the ability to search out album art from within the app, as it helps me add a visually authentic touch to my catalog.

Further to that, it also has a full-fledged tag editor, which is another biggie for OCD music heads. And when it comes to handling music files, Poweramp gets serious: mp3, mp4, ogg, wma, flac, wav and more. Yes, I still have ogg files. It does gapless play, has a pretty fast scanning process, and helps out with lyrics.

Additionally, you also get a powerful equalizer. This allows users to really tweak the output intimately, such that if you want to underscore a little bit of base in that Dre track, you are good.

Finally, I love that I can make the app mine by customizing it to suit. There are a few built-in skins (plus more available to download), and there are several little touches one can mess around with, from how songs are named to the info attached to each file.

Bonus: Poweramp is one of those premium apps that has a free version that allows you to try it out for half a month.

Well done.

Go ahead. Try it out. You’re welcome for the tip…

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless Earbuds — an extended experience

Jabra Elite 65t Truly Wireless Earbuds — an extended experience

Mar 14, 2018

The recently announced Elite 65t is a newer foray by renown accessory company Jabra into the increasingly crowded wireless — truly wireless, that is — headphone market. Its truly wireless offering, the Jabra Elite were pretty good, so to call a new iteration intriguing is somewhat of an understatement.

The retail unit we were sent shows a familiar looking setup: charging case, earbuds, micro-USB charging cable, eargels and documentation. The earbuds fit cleanly into the case, and the case charges them like a backup battery which itself can be recharged via the included cable. The earbuds resemble the original set, but are smaller and less prominent, with grey tones. The case is smaller than the original too, so again, everything is more compact.

They came with a charge, but we went ahead and juiced for an hour for surety.

These headphones get a whole new companion application, the Jabra Sound+ utility. The app adds some nifty control options and information, including battery level, visual data detailing which piece (left, right or both) is active and the user manual. Additionally, you can tweak the app-hosted equalizer and even select Amazon Alexa as the unit’s voice assistant. The app is also the firmware update portal for the set, and help you walkthrough setup and pairing initially.

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In usage, they work well, producing great sound isolation via the seal, and with a great degree of fidelity. I tried them out with plenty of music and podcasts — Dolly, Ye, Baby Bash and the Around the Horn crew came across clear and strong, with little distortion and no decipherable tinniness. I was able to wear the piece in my ear without any distress over time, both singly and as a pair.

Secondarily, I wanted the ability to use these as a dedicated earpiece; why carry two sets of hardware if one can do the heavy lifting? Easy controls make it easy to use the main earbud as a headset for calls, and that aspect of the experience is solid.

Battery life? This probably the best aspect, and is where users might find the biggest improvement over the Elite Sport. The case/charger really does pack power, allowing me to go a fortnight without charging it (the case) with regular usage.

My biggest fuss emanates from the software side; I think Jabra could really consolidate its companion app offerings. I use three Jabra pieces regularly, and (including the latest aforementioned one) now have four apps installed just for them.

Suffice to say, these are really great earbuds. The sound output is really good, and it’s easy to enjoy different types of productions. From a comfort perspective, it’s the first pair of truly wireless earbuds that I’ve used that feel just as at home during a workout as they do when be used to listen to a nighttime podcast. Then, the ability to use it mono, especially as a “regular” bluetooth earpiece for phone calls, is invaluable. These ones have all but nudged aside my adored Jabra Eclipse as my go to call earpiece of choice.

Pre-registration opens for Westworld Mobile

Pre-registration opens for Westworld Mobile

Mar 12, 2018

If you’ve ever caught an episode of Westworld, you’ll want to hear this news.

Yes, we’re referring to the Michael Crichton-inspired futuristic show that comes on HBO. Hey, when you get a mobile companion game as a TV show, you know you have really, truly arrived. Well, Westworld has arrived, and a game is due out soon.

Guess what? You can pre-register for it now, RIGHT HERE.

And this one looks like it’s gonna be fun… for real; players who pre-register will get some exclusive goodies.

Per the presser, we hear there is some tight collaboration between show writers and producers with WB Games developers. WB Games VP Jonathan Knight can’t wait for the finished game to make it to franchise fans.

“This game is an opportunity to give mobile gamers a fresh and exciting way to interact with the engrossing themes and enigmatic narrative explored by the Westworld series,” he says. “We can’t wait for fans to get their hands on the game to develop their own unique strategy to orchestrate and explore the perfect park experience.”

Enjoy the teaser trailer below:

[via Westworld Mobile]

Gravity Dash: Endless Runner launches on Google Play

Gravity Dash: Endless Runner launches on Google Play

Mar 12, 2018

There is a new runner in town. Welcome to Gravity Dash: Endless Runner… courtesy of Jedd Goble.

This game is all about blocky art, obstacles, anti-gravity, randomly generated levels, dangers and the need for quick, quick reflexes.

The game’s founder, Jedd Goble, talks about paying homage to an ageless genre. “Gravity Dash is an ode to the classic runner, with a unique twist,” he says. “Through the “one-button” input system that allows you to invert gravity, newbies and veterans alike can pick up and play Gravity Dash for a few minutes – or a few hours. The pixel graphics and synth-driven music score give it an unmistakable retro feel, and the adaptive difficulty level means that the game never gets old. Players of all ages will have a blast every time they play.”

Gravity Dash: Endless Runner is available for free — with optional in-app purchases — on Google Play.

Check out the trailer below:

Rocking Huawei’s freshest offering: Mate 10 Pro

Rocking Huawei’s freshest offering: Mate 10 Pro

Mar 12, 2018

It’s that time of year where everyone is dropping new devices, and if you’re a techie, this is akin to heaven on earth. So much stuff, and precious little time to play with them all.

Huawei gave us some time with its new device, the Mate 10 Pro. Well, we figure Huawei should have gracefully shed any claim to being an non-prominent Android player a while back, so we went into this one eager to see it continue to please us.

Ah… c’mon Review Package. hw3

It is a relatively svelte device, quite light in hand and maybe even becoming in its sharp blue finish. it packs a 6.0″, 2160 x 1080 pixel “FullView” display into a 6.07 x 2.93 x 0.31 inch frame. It has well set camera and fingerprint sensor (which works well with fore finger), with rockers on the left, and micro USB C port at the bottom. Altogether, it’s a nice looking device, and the screen is striking.

Under the hood, it packs a HUAWEI Kirin 970 processor (Cortex octacore CPU) to power Android Oreo out the gate.

EMUI — updated to version 8.0 no less — remains the fairly clean overlay its been in recent iterations; anyone with a rudimentary prior usage of stock Android OS should be at home with this interface.The system itself packs things like MirrorShare, which is its version of MiraCast, and things we consider standard at this point, like NFC.

It happily took our play around T-Mobile SIM, and we used it for a while as a daily driver. As a call device, no major mishaps; no dropped calls, and no static-y backdrops. As a test, we used it to do everything we did on our usual daily driver, and outside a few proprietary utilities on my regular device, the Mate 10 Pro did its thing, and did it respectably.

So all things being equal, with relative feature parity on major devices, it boils down to the itty bitty extras. My biggest whine with regards to this device is its size, and even that is admittedly a minor quibble.

No mind. This a device that is just about right for any mobile warrior, anywhere.

Round and about the Steel Media world (March 9)

Round and about the Steel Media world (March 9)

Mar 9, 2018

It’s about that time…

Here we go, providing you with a sample — small, but juicy — of some the content you mi?ht have missed from our sister sites in the Steel Media network. Why? Well, there is so much stuff, and so little time to get to it.

We’re talking reviews, news, commentary, podcasts, and video.

Why wouldn’t we? Here you go, fresh off last week’s presses on Pocket Gmer, i48apps and AppSpy.

Pocket Gamer

Wanna maximize those simoleons? Dave Aubrey out at PG has you covered with a formal walkthrough for the recently released Sims Mobile. Then, feel free to head on to check out Jon Mundy’s food for thought with regards to seven mobile games he figures will translate better on Switch.

Speaking of Sims and simoleons, there is another nifty podcast episode available. Episode 434 talks about Sims Mobile and Super Smash Bros Switch.

148apps

We start with some golden content for folks looking to get a leg up in several games. In fact, if you need tips and tricks for Monster Merge, Temple of Spikes: the Legend and/or Clash Royale 2v2 mode, 148apps has you covered.

Oh yeah… but of course: a comprehensive list of the best iOS games that came out this week, courtesy of Harry Slater.

AppSpy

You’ll wanna check out AppSpy’s current Gem of the Week (per Christian Valentin), which bread popping battle to bear in Toast Time.

And no one does video reviews better than AppSpy; it’s latest is for Temple of Spikes. Check it out here:

There you have it… can’t wait for next week!

NBA TV and MLB Network get added to YouTube TV

NBA TV and MLB Network get added to YouTube TV

Mar 8, 2018

It looks like YouTube TV is looking to become an even better value for its subscribers with today’s news: it now also has NBA TV and MLB Network in its channel lineup.

Sports lovers rejoice!

This should be especially great news for folks who, for instance, crave the banter between cutups Ernie Johnson, Kenny the Jet, Sir Charles and Shaq on encore showings of award-winning show Inside the NBA, because such folks can have their fill, and can even get in on shows like Hardwood Classics and the irreverent Shaqtin’ a Fool.

For baseball fans, MLB Network brings live game coverage, spring training and a host of baseball-related programming.

YouTube TV is available across platforms, and costs $35 per month after a free trial. Hey, if you want (and you should), check out how and why YouTube TV grew on us during our trial/review period.

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[YouTube TV: growing on us.]

Microsoft Word: My Chromecast’s lower case missing piece

Microsoft Word: My Chromecast’s lower case missing piece

Mar 5, 2018

The Chromebook, as a daily driver, has certainly gown on me.

No mystery there. There isn’t much to dislike. It has all the charm of a web machine, plus the power of Google’s ecosystem behind it. It has all but retired the laptop, as I can mostly manage with it comfortably wherever there’s safe internet access. Even if I have to do heavy lifting, I can always tunnel in via Chrome Remote Desktop; as an added bonus, since it is a touchscreen device, I can interact with Windows remotely by touching the screen.

I could go on and on, but you can tell, I like Chrome OS.

With Google Play access — and I picked up an Acer machine that got that feature relatively early — I also get a whole lot of apps that extend my Chromebook’s functionality. Hold up though… shortly after, we found out that MS Office, the app I coveted the most, wasn’t available for Chromebooks, ostensibly because of its screen size.

This was bad. You see, I do use Google Docs a lot, and dig its usability. Still, I came of computer age in the late Nineties and early Aughts, and I respect the right of monopolies to crash the party early. All hail first to market, and give me Microsoft Word!

Sigh.

At least I can still access my desktop remotely. Even when pouting.

Whining aside, this was a major piece for me. I don’t enjoy Office 360, and I already have a machine side loaded with Linux. I wanted to eat my Chrome OS cake and have it too. I get that Microsoft Office on what is, in essence, a Surface competitor might not make sense from an MS point of view, but what about ME?

But what do you know? Is Microsoft reaffirming its drive to be on every device versus creating all the hardware? Don’t know, and frankly, i don’t really care. What matters is that Android Office suite is again available to the Chromebook.

All is right in my mobile world.

Round and about the Steel Media world (March 2)

Round and about the Steel Media world (March 2)

Mar 2, 2018

We’ve said it before: we have a lot of content, and we are quite willing to please. Just in case you missed this goodness from around the Steel Media world, we’re providing just a glimpse of all the things you’ll want to enjoy.

Pocket Gamer

If you’re into Peak Rider — and, unless you’re stodgy and mean, you probably are — you must get a hold of Dave Aubrey’s expansive tips and tricks guide; you’ll be king of the (snowboard) slopes in no time. Then, be sure to check Harry Slater’s review of narrative adventure A Normal Lost Phone.

148apps

Campbell Bird sets off with an in-depth review of Holy Potatoes! We’re In Space?; you’ll wanna hear the thoughts on being a starship commander. Also, find the time to check out the updated list of the best games on sale for iPhone and iPad right now.

AppSpy

All hail the Hidden Gem! This week, it’s Knotmania, and Christian Valentin lets us understand why we might wanna get in on this zen puzzler. And, you can NEVER go wrong with AppSpy’s video review — this one is for Lichtspeer:

There you have it… plenty of stuff to enjoy and ruminate upon.

Lineage 2: Revolution marks 100 days with update and special events

Lineage 2: Revolution marks 100 days with update and special events

Feb 28, 2018

It’s been 100 days since Netmarble Games launched MMORPG Lineage 2: Revolution, and, according to the developer, it has been a heady first 100 days indeed.

Since the game’s launch on November 15th, 2017, it (and players) can boast the following stats:

  • 10,000,000 characters created
  • 160,185 clans created
  • 630,000 Bear Mounts rewarded
  • 179,585,426 hours played

To mark the the momentous occasion, a new rare mount, the Maned Lion has been added via update. Also, for a limited time, the game will have two in-game events. The one is called the Dice Event, and allows players to acquire goodies with a roll of the dice — available twice daily.

Then there is the Equipment Substat Change Event, which promises a stash of red diamonds for players who simply change their equipment substat during the event.

Both events are on now, and close on March 14th.

Seungwon Lee, Netmarble’s Chief Global Officer, mentions gratitude to the game’s players. “We are so proud to have reached this monumental point with our loyal and beloved Lineage 2: Revolution community, and we want to thank our players for an amazing 100 days,” he says. “To many more milestones to come!”

Here is a video infographic detailing the milestone: